Miss Norean’s strong voice rose clearly above the easterly Caicos’ breeze. “Did you know the majority of women on South [Caicos] couldn’t swim until 28 years ago? As girls we stayed in the house with our mothers and cleaned, cooked, and waited for the boys to get home. That changed when SFS arrived on the island and began Saturday swim lessons. Girls learn alongside the boys, and that’s a tradition you all continue to this day.”
After hearing these words from Miss Norean, a respected community leader and teacher born and raised on South Caicos, I signed up to teach swim lessons the following Saturday. Why? I chose to embark upon this semester long journey with SFS in order to contribute to something greater than myself. Marine science is amazing, but a test can be taken anywhere in the world. What SFS offered me, and my fellow twenty-two classmates, was something much more than an educational opportunity. It was an opportunity to become invested in a community, and as a community, leave a mark much greater than ourselves. I began this journey with a swim lesson, and I hope 28 years from now, another SFS student will embark on a similar journey to keep alive this wonderful tradition.